The best apps that boost your work and study productivity

Whether your heading back to school, university or work after a lovely relaxing holiday, you may think it’s finally time to take control of your working life and get productive.

But if you’ve always had problems with organisation, learning new skills, getting work done and making lessons or meetings on time, then we might just have the solution with these very helpful apps.

So from Calm to My Study Life, Flora and Duolingo, whatever problem you’re working with, solve it now with these free apps.

My Study Life

My Study Life is a calendar app designed specifically for students.

As well as showing you your weekly timetable – with support for rotations – you can add exams, essay deadlines and reminders, and keep a list of all the tasks you need to complete.

It also works on the web, so you can log in and check your schedule from any device.

Free, iOS/Android

Flora

Most Pomodoro apps just show you a boring timer, but Flora rewards you for focusing on your work for 25 minutes by growing a tree.

Leave the app before the time is up and your tree will die, but complete your sessions and you’ll unlock other types to grow. Before long you’ll have a whole forest (and a brain full of facts).

Free, iOS

Socratic

Is it cheating to use Socratic to help you solve your sums? Not exactly, although you definitely wouldn’t get away with using it in an exam.

Point your phone’s camera at a problem and it’ll show you how to answer it, plus it can also help you to find useful online resources for everything from chemistry to literature.

Free, iOS/Android

Otter

Need to take notes but can’t keep up with the tutor speaking at 100mph? Otter is an AI-powered dictaphone app that automatically transcribes what it records for you.

It’s not perfect, so you’ll need to go through the transcript afterwards and tidy it up, but it certainly gives you a decent head start.

Free, iOS/Android

Calm

It doesn’t matter how much preparation you do if you’re too stressed to focus when exam time comes around.

Calm requires a subscription after the seven-day trial expires but its wide range of relaxation aids are designed to help reduce stress and anxiety, which could be priceless if it means better grades.

Free, iOS/Android

Duolingo

Learning a language? Duolingo helps you practice your speaking, reading, listening and writing in easily manageable chunks, so you can squeeze in a bit of extracurricular work whenever it suits you.

It also supports more than 40 world languages, so will have you covered even if you’ve decided to take Esperanto.

Free, iOS/Android

StudySmarter

There are separate apps out there for producing flashcards, taking notes and planning your revision, but StudySmarter combines them all in one.

As well as creating your own, the app also gives you access to materials made by others, including Study Sets that cover a whole range of topics with handy explainers and quizzes.

Free, iOS/Android

Evernote

Evernote isn’t designed specifically for students, but it’s a great tool for keeping all of your notes in one place.

You can also add pictures of handwritten notes or whiteboards, record audio, and clip just the important parts of websites, with separate sections for each class, so you’ll always know where to find everything.

Free, iOS/Android

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